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Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Video Games
  • In Modern Warfare 2, Ghost takes up Gaz's position from the first game, right down to sharing a voice actor.
    • People originally even suspected they were one and the same character. This was later disproven in canon.
    • Modern Warfare 3 has Sgt. Wallcroft, who was a minor NPC in MW1 but is now yet another Gaz clone.tiny
  • Colt in Monster Rancher 2 can be resumed as one 12 year old Holly with a tomboy hairstyle.
    • Also from 2 is the Zuum, who is similar to the Dino from the first game. If you were to use the Slate command to import your Dino, it will be converted into a Zuum.
  • Tekken series: Roger Jr. (actually the unnamed mother) replaces Roger. Hwoarang replaces Baek (who then returns in Tekken 5 alongside his student). Jin Kazama replaces his father Kazuya (who then returns, Jin getting a different fighting style). Combot replacing Mokujin for Tekken 4. Devil Jin replacing Devil Kazuya and Angel (debatable; Devil Kazuya also functions as an alternate stance for Kazuya in Tag 2). Asuka replacing Jun Kazama. Christie replacing Eddy (who fully returned in Tekken 5; in 4 he was an alternate costume for Christie). Julia Chang replacing her foster mother Michelle Chang. Forrest Law replacing his father Marshall Law (who then re-replaces his son in the next game, Tekken 4). Each Jack-bot is the newest model (though apparently with the same mind transferred over). King dies before Tekken 3, and Armor King is killed before Tekken 4. Both Kings are replaced by their younger followers, and even the names remain unchanged. Even Kuma that appears in Tekken and T2 dies of old age and is replaced by its pretty much identical child in Tekken 3. In general, many Tekken character replacements are so similar that if you are not familiar with storyline details, you won't even know someone is not the same as the original.
  • In Suikoden II we have Boris Wizen, who shares the Tengou Star with his father Ridley Wizen and will take his place if he dies in the Dunan Unification War. The player can indirectly decide who (s)he wants to keep: When Nanami asks you to run away in Tinto you can decide whether or not you want to do it. If you do, Ridley will be killed as a result and you will also see a few additional cutscenes, including the introduction of the new Kobold General. The only differences here are the looks and personalities.
  • At the end of the GBA version of the first Ace Attorney game, Phoenix's assistant Maya leaves to undergo spiritual medium training; she returns in the next game. When a DS remake of the first game was released, they added an extra case to it — but they couldn't bring Maya back, as one of the cases in the second game revolved around her reunion with Phoenix. So a new character, Ema Skye, became Phoenix's assistant for that one case. When the fourth game substituted the entire cast (including Phoenix), Ema replaced Dick Gumshoe as the police detective who is routinely run into and switches between the main character's foil and friend.
    • This has lead to a series of recurring archetypes, though no two character feel truly the same. Phoenix's successor Apollo is also a snarky, put upon lawyer constantly at the mercy of strange witnesses. Apollo is much snarkier and more sensible, though is flustered more easily. When playing as Phoenix in the fifth game, Apollo is generally a lot more cheerful than when playing as him.
    • Maya has also been replaced by Phoenix's adopted daughter Trucy, who is just as cheerful but more mature and not as mischevious than Maya.
    • When Edgeworth got his own spinoff, he picked up a Genki Girl assistant with a mysterious yet highly relevant past in the form of Kay Faraday.
    • The fifth game gives us Athena Cykes, a rookie attorney whose courtroom style fits early Phoenix Wright to a T, while her personality is much closer to the Genki Girl assistant role.
    • Phoenix himself is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute to the young version of his mentor Mia Fey, and the older Phoenix from Apollo's game is rather similar to the older Mia from Phoenix's games.
    • After Miles Edgeworth, a prickly, win-at-any-costs, prosecutor with a tie to one of the heroes in the first game, he's replaced by his adoptive sister Franziska in the second game and the coffe guzzling Godot in the third. Both are rather similar in temperament and tactics. Apollo's rival Klavier is the exception, as he's actually as laidback and nice as he seems, and has no beef with Apollo.
    • In the fifth game things are back to form with prosecutor Simon Blackquill and detective Bobby Fulbright.
    • The series opening prosecutor Winston Payne has been replaced by his brother Gaspen Payne and his English counterpart Prosecutor Flynch in Professor Layton Vs Ace Attorney.
    • The Judge, likewise, has been replaced by his Canadian brother and Professor Layton Vs Ace Attorney introduced his English counterpart and the Labyrinthian Judge.
    • In the second Ace Attorney Investigations game, you meet a reporter called Mikiko Hayami in the first case who seems to be this for Lotta Hart. However, Lotta herself later shows up, and it turns out the two reporters know each other.
  • Sonic Adventure introduced us to Gamma, a well-armed red and white humanoid "E-Series" Greek-letter-named robot created by Eggman, who over the course of the game decided to turn against Eggman. At the end of the game, Gamma died. A few years later, Sonic Heroes brought back a whole bunch of characters, adding no new ones... except Omega, a well-armed red and white humanoid E-Series Greek-letter-named robot created by Eggman who had decided to turn against Eggman. Hmm...
    • On the other hand, they are radically different in terms of personality: while Gamma was a conflicted and ultimately tragic character, Omega is a borderline mechanical psychopath that wants to obliterate his former master (and everything he built) and then ultimately take over. And he talks like a Dalek.
    • Sonic Battle has a different Gamma substitute, "Chaos Gamma" — a mass-produced model based on Gamma without enough intelligence to rebel against its master.
  • The Maniax Chronicle Edition of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne chucks out Dante in exchange for the series' own Raidou Kuzunoha. Consensus says it's an improvement.
    • The main reason is that Raidou has the Pierce skill, an absolute necessity if you want to face the True Final Boss (and honestly, at the point you recruit Raidou/Dante, that's the only thing left for you to do). Dante was cool, but his lack of Pierce, inability to get Pierce (because you couldn't fuse him with anything) and permanent consumption of one of your party slots reduced him to Awesome, but Impractical.
  • Punch-Out!!:
    • The first print versions of the NES entry starred Mike Tyson as its final opponent. Eventually Nintendo's license to use Tyson's likeness in a game expired (and since he was no longer the undefeated world heavyweight champion, renewing the license was less desirable...and would become even less so when Tyson was convicted of rape a year later), so the 1990 reissue substituted Tyson with the fictional Mr. Dream, a white boxer who's exactly the same (he even has the same end-of-round quotes).
    • The Wii installment has Disco Kid, originally an updated version of Kid Quick from the first arcade game. As the staff updated his design, he changed so radically that they decided it would be easier to make a different character out of him. His files on the disc are still labeled "kid_quick."
    • Piston Honda from the NES version was essentially a substitute for Piston Hurricane from the first arcade game. The SNES game brought back Piston Hurricane (along with other previously arcade-exclusive opponents), only to bring back Piston Honda (under the guise of Piston Hondo) in the Wii installment.
  • Kratos and Zelos in Tales of Symphonia, with the latter replacing the former. They are almost identical in regards to combat: Zelos has lower stats and lacks a single spell that Kratos shares with Colette, but the two have slightly different attack animations that make Zelos better at using certain combos. However, this is averted with their personalities: Kratos is a Stoic Mercenary who turns out to be an Enigmatic Minion for the Big Bad and Zelos is a comical on the outside Classical Anti-Hero and The Casanova, who seems to need babysitting a lot.
  • When Pey'j gets in trouble in Beyond Good & Evil, his place in the party is taken by Double H, the soldier. Again, they have completely different characters, but effectively the same function, and only show up together for a brief time in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • In the original Snatcher, the engineer Harry Benson dies. When it was reinvented as an RPG in SD Snatcher, Harry provides all the weapons and ammunition to Gillian. To make sure the player could still buy weapons and bullets after Harry's death, a new character, Geoff, was added as Harry's apprentice. After Harry dies, Geoff takes over the weapons store.
  • In Pikmin 2, when your main Sidekick Louie goes missing after you complete the game's main mission, he gets replaced with the President of the Hocotate Shipping Company, who remains with you even after you rescue Louie.
  • Sakura Taisen 2 replaced Ayame Fujieda, the Sexy Mentor from the first game, with her younger sister Kaede (played by the same voice actress), since Ayame had Ascended To A Higher Plane Of Existence at the end of the first game.
  • The jump from Nintendo GameCube to Wii caused a few problems with the Naruto games, so some characters were left out of Clash of Ninja Revolution. Zabuza's replacement was the shark-swordsman Kisame Hoshigaki. This was probably for the better. In Japan, meanwhile, Sasuke was replaced by his brother Itachi.
  • In the Soulcalibur games, Maxi replaces Li Long (from the prequel, Soul Edge) as the game's nunchaku user, after Li's defeat at the hands of Cervantes. Li has only returned as a bonus character in Soulcalibur III.
    • Cassandra replaces Sophitia in Soulcalibur II (though Sophitia can be unlocked in the home versions), and Yun-seong replaces Hwang in spirit and general appearance, although doesn't have exactly the same moves. It's also notable that in this game the unlockable character Assassin DOES have the same moves as Hwang, and his fellow unlockable Berserker has those of Rock, however neither of these characters are canon to the story and so were probably included due to fanservice (and their use in Story mode). Kilik replaces Seong Mi-na officially although both characters are still available, and his moves have become more unique by III.
    • In the Korean versions, Misturugi was replaced by Arthur, a Caucasian samurai with the same moveset. He was then available in Soulcalibur III as a bonus character.
    • Olcadan in Soulcalibur III, as a replacement for Charade who was a replacement for Edge Master. Bonus points: each one is a Ditto Fighter, so they already act like other characters.
    • They were also hinted to be the only characters ever able to fight the other to a draw, neither having ever lost a fight.
    • It's worth mentioning that when Soulcalibur was in development, Namco wished to completely overhaul the roster and only include a couple of characters from Soul Edge/Blade. Eventually, however, all the characters barring Li Long and Han Myong (Seong Mi-na's father) returned for the home version (Soul Edge was renamed Inferno). Li Long returned later anyway. As a result some of the characters in Soulcalibur start off closer to clone characters than they are originally (Kilik, Astaroth, etc.) but end up becoming different later on.
    • Soulcalibur V takes place about 17 years after IV, and has some of the main cast replaced by new characters, though each is given a sufficient explanation. Natsu replaces Taki, though she is Taki's apprentice. Yan Leixia is Xianghua's daughter. Even though she has sufficient reason to be a fighter in the game, there's no explanation given as to why Xianghua herself isn't playable. Xiba has Kilik's moveset, and the backstory reveals that he is the estranged son of Kilik and Xianghua, and half-brother of Leixia. Patroklos Alexander and Pyrrha Alexandra are the children of Sophitia, who sacrificed her life to save Pyrrha's when she was a child. Both characters have similar fighting styles to both Sophitia and Cassandra, and Pyrrha later becomes a direct copy of Sophitia's moveset later in the storyline. Cassandra herself isn't in the game because she was sucked into Astral Chaos after she was knocked unconscious by her sister in IV. Edge Master comes back from the original Soulcalibur, and Olcadan and Charade are nowhere to be found. He still uses every character's moveset. Kilik himself is still around, but he's an SNK Boss-turned-Secret Character who mimics all the male character's movesets, much like Edge Master.
  • Vice Project Doom: Your character's informant that they talk to at the end of each stage will leave partially through the game. A stand-in will fill in for her. You find out where your original informant went as the game progresses.
  • Each major entry in the Ape Escape series replaces the previous Kid Hero with a new one. In Ape Escape 2, Spike gets replaced by his cousin Jimmy (though he can be unlocked as a secret character). Jimmy gets replaced by Kei and Yumi in Ape Escape 3. Meanwhile, their aunt Aki replaces both the Professor and Natalie in their roles. Dr. Tomoki takes over Jake's role as Specter's dragon. However, all of them have distinct personalities.
  • Due to him being an obvious ripoff of Tetsuo Shima from the AKIRA manga (or because SNK just don't plain like him), K9999 from The King of Fighters 2001 was kicked out in the Updated Re-release of KOF 2002 (Unlimited Match) and replaced by "Nameless," whose fighting style is fundamentally identical to K9999's as well as his backstory, being cloned from Kyo and K'. While K9999 is a complete jerk, Nameless' story makes him rather sympathetic (thanks to his Morality Pet Isolde).
    • Vice and Mature's original role as Rugal's secretaries was taken over by Aya and Hermoine in The King of Fighters '98.
  • In Street Fighter Alpha, Guile, the Air Force lieutenant searching for his missing friend, is replaced with Charlie, another member of the Air Force. Though in-universe, it's the other way around; Alpha is a prequel to Street Fighter II, so it would thus make Guile a replacement for Charlie (and, in fact, Charlie is the "missing friend" Guile is searching for in SFII).
    • Remy from Street Fighter III is a much less confusing example, using Guile/Charlie's moves but coming after them both in and out of universe.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom, the developers couldn't use Iron Man due to licensing issues, despite being previously featured in Marvel Super Heroes, so they simply recolored his sprite from that game to make War Machine. When Capcom was able to use Iron Man again for Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes, they gave War Machine the moveset of his "Hyper War Machine" counterpart from the previous game in order to distinguish him from Iron Man, who used War Machine's regular moveset from the previous game (which in turn, was based on Iron Man's move set from Marvel Super Heroes).
  • The heroes of Golden Axe III, Kain Grinder and Sarah Barn, look and fight similarly to Ax Battler and Tyris Flare, respectively (though the U.S. version still mistakenly refers to them as Ax and Tyris). Sarah even gets Tyris' repertoire of fire magic. Gilius Thunderhead is the only character from the previous installments to return in that game, though not as a playable character.
  • Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword — full circle, actually. Nils is the not so Spoony Bard in the introductory campaign, then he's replaced by Ninian, his sister. But then Ninian kicks the bucket, so Nils replaces her in the final battle.
    • Danved is definitely not Devdan.
    • From one game to the next half the cast will be this for the previous game. There's a set of archetypes that are well known in the fandom such as the two (occasionally three) cavaliers and the Jeigan.
  • In the PSP Game Jeanne D Arc, Liane is burned at the stake in Jeanne's place, and replaced by Cuisses, who is, thankfully, virtually the same. (Because Liane was probably one of your healers)
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • Pewee Piranha and Digga Legg from Super Mario Galaxy 2 are suspiciously similar substitutes to Dino Piranha and Megaleg from the original Super Mario Galaxy. The former is even found in the same general point in the game as the latter, and defeated in nearly the same way. Also, the Topmen from Galaxy are the same thing as the Bullies from Super Mario 64, both being enemies defeated by being pushed off the edge of the platform. They even both have nearly the same boss battles in the Mario Kart series!
    • The first two partners in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Goombella and Koops, are similar at first to the first two in the original Paper Mario, Goombario and Kooper, having the same attacks and abilities- except upgraded. Also, unlike Kooper, Koops actually has a personality. After that though, the partners are all new, although Admiral Bobbery has the same abilities as Bombette (who is also a Bob-Omb) and Vivian's field ability is functionally identical to Bow's.
    • In Super Mario Land, Princess Daisy took up the "kidnapped princess" role Peach normally has in other Mario games.
    • Peach is a substitute for Pauline, the damsel in Donkey Kong, and she's one of the few examples to overshadow her predecessor. When they brought back Pauline in the Game Boy version, they had to dye her hair color to brown to distinguish her. Pauline's revival in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis. Some Japanese fans actually consider the DK94 version of Pauline to be a different character from the Pauline in the original 1981 arcade game, since the original Pauline was actually named "Lady" in Japan.
    • Foreman Spike from Wrecking Crew was Mario's original rival, an irritable tough guy with crazy facial hair and a grudge. He was essentially a prototype version of Wario and Waluigi; Mario Kart DS even lampshades this by having Waluigi's default kart, the Gold Mantis, be Spike's steamshovel.
    • The Volcano Lotuses of Super Mario World are the terrestrial substitutes of Lava Lotuses, aquatic enemies in Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • In Yoshi's Island DS, about half the bosses and a good few of the levels are nearly the same thing as their equivalents from the first game. The Big Burt Bros are the most obvious; they're just two smaller versions of Burt the Bashful, killed the exact same way and found in a level with roughly the same layout. Others include Bungee Piranha (which is very much like Naval Piranha, complete with a castle designed like a sewer system) and Bowser himself, who acts as a near identical replacement to both Hookbill the Koopa and the giant version of his baby self.
  • In Donkey Kong 64, the playable characters Tiny and Chunky Kong are almost identical in form and function to Dixie and Kiddy Kong from Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3 respectively, the instruction booklet states they're the younger sister and older brother of the two.
  • In The Last Remnant, after Emma's Heroic Sacrifice, her daughter Emmy immediately comes to replace her as one of the Four Generals of Athlum.
  • From Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire onward, Pokémon games feature Pokémon that are somewhat similar (or substitutes) of already existing Mons. Example: Instead of Caterpie, Metapod, Butterfree, Weedle, Kakuna, and Beedrill as Bug-type Mons that evolve from worm-like creatures with a cocoon stage in the middle, we get Wurmple (essentially Weedle, with same stats and attacks) which can evolve into Silcoon, then Beautifly (similar to Butterfree) or Cascoon, then Dustox (a Poison-type like Beedrill, but a moth).
    • Also, Seviper replaces Ekans and Arbok in Hoenn games, due to the latter two not being native to Hoenn.
    • All the playable trainers of the main series, are, of one gameplay point of view, near identical between themselves. And more male trainers have the appearance reminiscent of Red, the original Player Character.
      • Lampshaded in the Generation II games and their remakes: The final battle between the player character and Red, despite being the final epic battle of the game, features no dialogue, as the player characters rarely speak.
    • And more obviously, each game features different monsters filling certain gameplay 'slots'; the Fire/Water/Grass starter trio, rodenty Normal-type and bird Flying-type Com Mons, and so on.
    • And every new generation introduces a new cute electric species with colored cheeks.
    • Also there's Team Magma/Aqua stealing Team Rocket's spot as the antagonistic gang... then Galactic in gen IV and Plasma in V. The fact they always carry the "Team" prefix (or the "Dan" suffix in Japanese) doesn't help to hide this trope's invocation.
  • While Final Fight 2, the straight-to-SNES sequel to Final Fight, kept Haggar from the original game, it also replaced Guy and Cody with Guy's sister-in-law Maki and South American swordsman Carlos respectively. While their techniques have many aesthetic differences from their predecessors (i.e.: Carlos uses his sword for his special attack instead of a spinning jump kick), they're the same and they even have the same abilities (Maki can do an off-the-wall jump kick, while Carlos can stab enemies with a knife).
  • Lampshaded in the intro of MegaRace 2. Lance tells his assistant, "You're fired," then turns to the camera and says, "Just kidding, folks. You'll be seeing Charlene, or somebody surprisingly similar, throughout the show. Believe me, you won't tell the difference. I won't, and I should know."
  • In Dead or Alive 2, Bayman from the original game was replaced by another character named Leon, who had the same moveset. When Bayman was brought back in later versions, he and Leon were given different movesets.
    • Dead Or Alive 4 had a Spartan, Nicole-458 as a guest character. While she doesn't appear in later games, Dead Or Alive 5 Ultimate has Rachel from Ninja Gaiden who has more than a few of Nicole's moves.
  • Contra: Hard Corps for the Sega Genesis substituted the traditional Contra heroes of Bill Rizer and Lance Bean with four new characters. Among the cast includes Sheena Etranzi (a female commando), Brad Fang (a cyborg werewolf), Browny (a tiny robot), and Ray Poward (a standard male commando). Guess which of these characters is most like Bill Rizer (hint: it's not the woman, the werewolf, nor the robot)...
  • In Samurai Warriors, perky ninja girl Kunoichi got replaced by Nene, the wife of Hideyoshi Toyotomi. They meet up briefly in a gaiden battle in Warriors Orochi 2, and Kunoichi lampshades said replacement: "Well, if it isn't my Spiritual Successor!" (And those are her exact words).
  • According to Word of God, Roxas from Kingdom Hearts was made one of these on purpose in 358/2 days, due to worries that people might be uncomfortable playing through the whole game with a character who plays too differently from Sora. So his stats, abilities, and magical capabilities were Sora-fied. This, however, is justified, since Roxas and Sora are essentially the same person anyway.
  • In The Legend of Zelda, everytime Link gets an Exposition Fairy who actually is a fairy, she will be this to the original Exposition Fairy herself, Navi. Although Tatl is considerably less helpful ("It's a bombchu! you don't know how to defeat them?")
  • Nu-13 was killed off at the end of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger by falling into a dead time-stream. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift introduced Lambda-11, who re-uses Nu's sprites and rebalanced versions of Nu's moves. Justified because both characters are mass-produced robot clones.
    • Continuum Shift later reveals that Lambda-11 actually has Nu's soul. Expect this trope to happen again if a sequel to Continuum Shift is announced, because Lambda also dies in the end of Continuum Shift.
      • To our surprise, Blaz Blue Chrono Phantasma subverted this trope by bringing back Nu-13 exactly the way she was in Calamity Trigger. Unfortunately for those who liked Lambda-11's character development, thanks to Continuum Shift's True End, is null and void. Because you can hardly carry that kind of stuff onwards when you're a cyborg and your brain gets reset to factory settings thanks to being destroyed... And then self-regenerated. This later bit of information is yet to be explained properly...
  • In Project Justice, Large and in Charge school principal Raizo doesn't make a playable appearance, the storyline explanation being that he was hospitalized thanks to an assassination attempt on his life. When that assassin (Kurow) becomes playable, his movelist is Raizo's own, with a few completely new moves thrown in to differentiate the two.
    • You'd think a white-haired and feral man-mountain and a gray-haired 15-year old with Freddy Krueger's gloves wouldn't be too similar. You'd be not-right.
  • The Legend of Dragoon replaces Lavitz with Albert after the former's death and also replaces Shana with Miranda later on. Functionally, they're almost identical, having the same additions and spells with a few minor traits. Although to some, Miranda is a Replacement Scrappy.
    • That would be because Miranda has nothing really unique about her compared to Shana sans her personality, which is rarely expressed or see after the conclusion of the Mille Saseau arc in the game. Albert, on the other hand, is a significant supporting character with a distinct personality. Lavitz's Additions have of the speed of a Mighty Glacier while Albert's Additions are more of a Lightning Bruiser type.
  • In Baldur's Gate 2, Imoen, a red haired human thief/mage is captured early in the game. Luckily, Nalia, a red haired human thief/mage is one of the first NPCs encountered afterwards.
    • Pash, it's not just appearance and class. The latter has the same cheerful personality and similar alignment as the former, allowing Imoen to become a much darker character.
    • In terms of party utility, Yoshimo also counts as Imoen's substitute. He is also a thief-type class, becomes available shortly before the need for replacement appears and right after he becomes unavailable, the original character returns.
  • In the Dragon Age series:
  • EarthBound has Ness, who is Ninten from the first game with a backpack; Paula, who is Ana with a different hair style; and Jeff, who is Lloyd with a school uniform. Somewhat done in Mother 3 with Lucas taking over Ninten and Ness's roles, except he looks completely different, but completely averted with Kumatora, who is completely unlike Paula and Ana, except for somewhat similar PSI.
  • In Mortal Kombat 4, Reiko replaced Noob Saibot early in development, although Noob could be found partially Dummied Out in the console versions. Kano was replaced by Jarek in the same game, who had mostly the same moves and fatalities, then Kano returned in Deadly Alliance, only to be killed off and replaced by Kobra in Deception.
  • Similarly, Robo from Chrono Trigger => Grobyc from Chrono Cross — they don't look nor sound anything alike, but fill the same character archetype (read "Grobyc" backward), complete with lack of magical ability — Robo is completely magic-inert (though lasers and tech-generated electricity count as Shadow attacks), while Grobyc can cast magic but sucks at it and has one of the weakest Element grids.
  • Between Resident Evil 1.5 and Resident Evil 2, Elza Walker, John, and Linda were redesigned into/replaced by Claire Redfield, Robert Kendo, and Ada Wong, respectively. The "Hooked Man" prototype of Resident Evil 4 had paranormally animated suits of armor, while the final version had Plagas-controlled armor suits, and Ashley replaced Sherry as the Damsel in Distress.
  • Mass Effect
    • Mass Effect 2 can have this depending on the player's actions in Mass Effect 1. If Wrex survived the first game, he will appear on Tuchanka leading his clan. If he was killed, it will be his brother Wreav, offering the same quests and exposition (although his personality is notably different). Likewise, if you saved the colony of Zhu's Hope but let Shiala die, an unnamed human colonist will appear in her place on Illium to offer the same quest.
    • In the third game, there are quite a few of these, since any or all of your squad can die in 2 if you're not careful. Mordin is replaced by another salarian named Padok Wiks (who appears regardless, but quickly vanishes if Mordin is still alive), Grunt is replaced by a generic krogan soldier, Miranda is replaced by her sister Oriana, Tali is replaced by Admiral Xen on the Dreadnought and Admiral Raan on Rannoch, and Legion is replaced by...a backup copy of itself (who doesn't have memory of Shepard). Garrus, Jacob, Jack, Zaeed, Kasumi, Samara, and Thane simply have their parts skipped if they died. Joker will even insist on referring to Padok as "Not-Mordin". In some of those cases, the outcomes of various situations will be different with the substitutes than with the originals, often to the player's detriment.
    • The most extreme example is the original Citadel Council. If left to die in Mass Effect 1, they are replaced in Mass Effect 3 by a "new" Council that uses slightly different models but mostly the same dialogue. Although, notably, the replacement salarian councilor is female, and the one time Udina calls them by their personal names — the only instance they're named in all three games — the names are different for the old and new Council. Their personalities are also identical despite Udina's claim to the contrary, with the exception that the replacements despise you even more than their predecessors did, whereas the originals owe you their lives.
  • Anarchy Reigns gives us the Black Baron, former grand champion of the Varrigan City DeathWatch. Oh wait, no, that's actually the Blacker Baron, a cyborg pimp who acts and fights just like the blackface battler.
  • Professor Layton and the Specter's Flute is a Prequel, and therefore set before Layton meets Inspector Chelmey or Don Paolo. So there's a different Scotland Yard inspector and deranged supervillain.
  • Rena Hayami, the protagonist of R: Racing Evolution, a simulation spinoff of the Ridge Racer series, bears a resemblance to Reiko Nagase from the main series.
  • Galuf from Final Fantasy V is replaced mid-game by his granddaughter Krile, who inherits all his experience, items and job mastery. Averted in all other Final Fantasy games.
  • In World of Warcraft, when the Zul'Aman instance was retooled from a 10-man Level 70 raid to a 5-man Level 85 Heroic dungeon, the final boss, Zul'Jin, being canonically dead as of Cataclysm, was replaced by Daakara the Invincible. While Zul'jin started as a troll, then turned into a bear, eagle, lynx and dragonhawk in turn each time players took off 20% health, Daakara started as a troll, then switched to either a bear then an eagle, or a lynx then a dragonhawk, with mostly similar mechanics to Zul'jin's versions of the forms.
    • In the Blackrock Depths instance, if players completed the quest to rescue Princess Moira from Dagran Thaurissan, she would be replaced by a Priestess of Thaurissan on subsequent encounters, who would also heal Dagran.
    • In the updated version of Scarlet Monastery for Mists of Pandaria, Renault Mograine, having been killed by the spirit of his father in the Ashbringer event is replaced by Scarlet Commander Durand as Whitemane's partner in the Dual Boss battle.
  • When Gat dies in the second mission of the third game, Shaundi, previously the Fun Personified One of the Boys character from the second game, becomes the boss's borderline psychotic ally while Pierce, formerly the Ambiguously Gay Butt Monkey, takes on Gat's role as the Boss's right hand man. While Pierce got to keep his personality, Shaundi had little to nothing of her former self left. Does it count as SSS if the replacement was an already existing character?
    • A recent trailer for Saints Row IV reveals Shaundi from Saints Row 2 and Shaundi from Saints Row the Third as being character in the game, so Shaundi from Saints Row the Third is actually a SSS for Gat personality wise, and a SSS for Shaundi from Saints Row 2 name wise.
  • Grobnar Gnomehands in Neverwinter Nights 2 shares several qualities with Deekin Scalesinger from the expansion packs to the first game, being an annoying, diminutive Spoony Bard.
  • In Super Robot Wars 4, gamers are introduced to three new units — the Gespenst, which resembles GMs, the Huckebein, which resembles a Gundam and the Grungust, which is one part Mazinger Z, one part Daitarn 3. They act as this trope once they make the jump to Super Robot Wars Original Generation.
    • This actually came back to bite SRW years later: Sunrise, the studio that owns Gundam, complained about the Huckebein seriesnote . When Second Original Generations came around, an enemy character deliberately destroys the entire Huckebein line (which were all conveniently gathered in one place and vulnerable), and they're replaced by the Exbein, which is literally nothing but the old Huckebein Mk-III with a less Gundam-like face. After this incident, The Federation simply decides to stop making Huckebeins because...because.
  • In Rhythm Heaven, the Choir Boys from Glee Club were Ensemble Darkhorses, so for Rhythm Heaven Fever, the mascot Marshal was based on their design, with Cam and Miss Ribbon added to make the use of this trope less obvious.
  • In racing games developers typically substitute Porsche for RUF, due to Electronic Arts holding exclusive rights to the Porsche brand in videogames. RUF cars are tuned Porsches (like what Shelby is to Ford), with more power and a slightly different bodykit, but effectively identical to a standard Porsche visually. If you see a RUF listed in a game's car lineup, it basically means there will be no Porsches in the game. The Forza Motorsport series featured Porsche in Forza 3, but when Forza 4 came around, Porsche was totally absent due to meddling from Electronic Arts, with only a trio of RUF 911s replacing the 20+ Porsches missing. An expansion pack was later released which re-added Porsche, though Porsches were not featured in any other DLC. When Forza Horizon came out, Porsche was, yet again, absent.
  • FEAR 2: Project Origin has this in the form of Redd Jankowski, brother of Spencer from the first game, who also has the same voice actor. Both are killed early on in the story.
  • Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror's Red Jack is this to Anton Girdeux from the first game. Both are their respective games' first proper boss, are armed with oversized flamethrowers, and Immune to Bullets outside of their fuel tank backpacks.
  • Silent Hill 2 introduced Pyramid Head, perhaps the most iconic monster in the entire Silent Hill franchise. As a result, similar creatures have appeared in several other games:
  • The Walking Dead: Jane in Season 2 is this to Molly in Season 1. Both are tough female survivors with an inclination towards stealth and dirty fighting, both have a loner attitude brought on by losing younger sisters in tragic circumstances, both have extremely pragmatic and somewhat ruthless attitudes towards survival that raise more than a few eyebrows, and both only stay with the party for a while before leaving due to personal reasons.
Live-Action TVSuspiciously Similar SubstituteWestern Animation

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